Details on NFS Acid Leak

Wednesday, February 22, 2012 @ 05:02 PM gHale

Up to 800 gallons of nitric acid may have leaked Nuclear Fuel Services (NFS) Erwin, TN, facility Jan. 9 Tennessee Department of Environment & Conservation (TDEC) officials said.

The initial report on the accident was “that approximately 800 gallons spilled. However, there was also water in the containment area, so we cannot determine exactly how much,” said TDEC spokeswoman Meg Lockhart.

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The Nuclear Regulatory Commission (NRC) report said that NFS reported “approximately 300 gallons of nitric acid had spilled.”

Around noon Jan. 9, a nitric acid leak occurred in an outdoor chemical storage area at NFS. The nitric acid ended up contained by a dike designed for such a purpose, officials said.

Following the incident, facility operations went into a “safe shutdown,” in which operations in certain areas temporarily halted and everyone followed NFS procedure to ensure these areas were in stable condition.

As a precaution, NFS employees working in areas near the leak went to another NFS facility, and two employee went to NFS medical staff due to possible exposure to nitric acid vapor. They ended up released.

No injuries were reported as a result of the incident.

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